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Transgender Restroom ADA Signs controversy and how to deal with it

Posted by Frank Murch | Feb 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Looking for Gender Neutral Restroom Sign?ADA-Sign-Transgender.png

There is an argument about transgender restrooms. What sign can you legally put up and expect to pass your inspections? Do you know what an 'accepted' gender neutral bathroom sign is? Can you keep your customers and your city inspector happy at the same time? Here are some answers that will help you navigate this issue.

The type of gender neutral restroom signage that is going to pass depends on the inspector, but the law will provide you with guidance. There is a CA bulletin on this subject for a single user restroom (but none for the more controversial multi user bathroom). All that is required is the triangle on the circle in colors that contrast with the door and each other.


There is an expert, named Sharon Toji, who spoke on the issue:ADA-Restroom-Sign-Transgender A.png

“I certainly question that the word 'Inclusive' identifies a restroom. It sounds more like some kind of slogan than a room identification. I realize the ADA does not dictate what people decide to call their rooms, but if I were a person who needed a restroom and could not find one, and maybe (as a person with a disability) had an accident because of it, I think I would make a complaint! I have never heard someone say, 'Excuse me, I need to visit the Inclusive.'"


I assume that the sign for “Restroom” still has a six inch space for their pictogram to ensure ADA sign compliance. I wish people wouldn’t use that pictogram, however, because I think most people with cognitive disabilities would not have the slightest idea what it identifies. We have a very simple non-gender related pictogram that I think almost everyone would understand immediately — including people with cognitive disabilities, who get the most benefit from pictograms. Ultimately, people shouldn't need to explain that a restroom is open to anyone if it's just a private room that can be locked, and doesn't have multiple stalls. It doesn't matter what kind of restroom signage is used - that single user restroom is going to just fit in one person at a time (other than a parent and child, or a person in a wheelchair with an attendant), and that person can be anyone. In other words, a long explanation below the “restroom” sign is just wasted space — and probably is not legal anyway according to the ADA because it is undoubtedly not 5/8 inches high. “ADA-Signs-CA-Gender-Neutral_Restroom_Signs.png

Armed with knowledge and a legal bulletin, your restroom signs can comply, prove ADA compliance, settle the issue politely and quickly, and move on.


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Topics: cheat sheet for the ADA signs, ADA sign Placement, ADA Fonts, ADA Colors, ADA, ada Sign Pictograms


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